All night long the house is semi-vacant.
The man and wife go in new orbits.
The room this body took is untouched,
preserved like an obscene Graceland without velvet
ropes or their mouths in an o, watching
where I slept on faded sheets and old stains.
The door is cut off and closed. they walk around it.
There are no papers. It is ancient
and usual. Papa said the Bible was a manual
where the contortions I wanted
with men were illegal. He is as regular
and comforting as a prostate exam. He disowns
the flesh his sperm built. Mama sews
her mouth shut and announces a vacancy
in her womb. she prepares herself
like a target. Her insides as tidy
as a home. He fucks what he owns.
There will be the occupant sign: its
medium-sized black block letters
in the new nursery. It will rise
to God. they will pull a girl from her
like a survivor from a previous wreck
and hope the baptism will take, for now
I pack what is essential and leave
the rest to be dismantled. I prepare
for wind and thirst, winter rains. I’ve
only myself to furnish. Still, I leave
the denim shirts where they belong. I do not touch
your closet. I refuse to return
the invasion. I leave the refrigerator open
to wine and bread. I cannot come
back. The mirror in the hallway has black
silk on it. The buffet readies itself
on one table. She has her veil. You
have your cross and its masochist. I bring
only anger and an abyss.
you trace my picture and spit my name.
Somehow I am better for it.
Kevin Quitt is a poet from Plymouth, Massachusetts. His poems have appeared in various small press journals including Pudding Magazine and Wicked Mystic
photo credit: creative commons, www.flicker.com/photos/jdvolcan/